EDITORIAL: Beware of the GOP Smokescreen

President Donald Trump (Courtesy of Trump via Facebook)
President Donald Trump (Courtesy of Trump via Facebook)

The current administration has been on a roll as of late including setting its sights on illegal immigrants who continue to be tracked down and detained to proposing a plan to build five new privately-run “detainee centers” located around the U.S. that would hold the thousands of new “criminals” while building up the coffers of companies that had fallen out of favor under former President Obama.

Meanwhile, Congress faces pressure to re-impose sanctions on Iran lifted in 2015, to reauthorize a children’s health insurance program that expired Sept. 30 that has over 9 million now in jeopardy, to allow for oil drilling in an area in Alaska that currently serves as an oasis for a host of birds and beasts, to approve funding for a Mexican border wall, to stand firm on Trump’s plans to eventually deport thousands of young beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unless protective measures are codified and to sign off on a tax overhaul which Trump and other Republicans promise will benefit the middle class — a bill that many economists warn will, in the long run, do very little for average citizens, eventually placing more financial burdens on them while ushering in a financial boom for corporations and the wealthy.

The president has also instructed the country’s voting commissions to purge their polls, allegedly to make sure only eligible citizens are allowed to cast their ballot in upcoming elections.

Finally, Trump, with the blessing of most of his colleagues in the Senate, has been pushing through judicial nominees to fill vacancies in appeals, district and circuit courts (a lifetime position by the way), as well as filling openings in the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims at an unprecedented pace — ignoring a thorough, long established vetting process that once included a review of nominees by the American Bar Association before any nominations would be made official.

In other words, we’re seeing what could result in the intentional reshaping of the country’s courts that would make them more supportive and reflective of conservative ideologies and legislation.

But rather than provide Americans with the all the facts or how the aforementioned legislation and policy shifts could impact millions of citizens and immigrants, Trump and company seem more interested in concocting tweets, soundbites and press conferences that focus on Russian antics, new policies for trade with Asian countries, potential nuclear threats facilitated by North Korea and illegal goings on, past and present, directed by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

We are concerned, very concerned, because of the clear and present danger of this Republican-directed “smokescreen” that keeps Americans focused on matters of little or no consequence while the door remains wide open for ushering in laws, policies and patterns that will make life worse for people of color, the poor, immigrants and those who ascribe to less traditional relationships and lifestyles.

What can you do? We urge you to let your representatives in Congress know how you feel. Make sure you vote in each and every election — whether it’s for president or dog catcher. And, above all, do not swallow the meal offered by the president and his fellow Republicans before thoroughly examining the “goodies” they are so joyously heaping out in such grand proportion.

In other words, “don’t believe the hype!”


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